Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cheesy Vegetable and Ham Chowder

Cheesy Vegetable and Ham Chowder

Here's the recipe I told you about yesterday......

Ingredients:
2 cups water
2 medium potatoes (chopped)
1 carrot (chopped)
2 stalks celery (chopped)
1/4 cup onion (chopped) 1 small onion works
1/4 cup butter or margarine (I preferred to use butter in this)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk
2-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups cubed ham
1 can cream corn (standard size can - 15 ounce or so)
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Put the water, potato, carrot, celery and onion in a medium cooking pot (medium size soup pot works perfect). Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer and let simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.

2. In a medium sized saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat (you don't want the butter to burn). Get a whisk out and whisk in the flour and the pepper. Now add the milk and keep whisking over medium heat until the mixture thickens. (within about 2 minutes). Now add the cheese and keep whisking until the cheese has melted.

3. Immediately pour the cheese mixture into the vegetable mixture and stir to blend with the whisk. Now add your ham and corn and you are done.

Couple of points here:

1) Have the cheese, flour, pepper and milk measured out before you start the cheese mixture. Once you melt the butter, it goes pretty fast and you don't want the butter to burn while you are trying to measure the other ingredients and get them into the saucepan. Makes it much easier if you already have them all measured out.

2) The leftovers thicken considerably in the fridge. You have a couple of options here. You can either add a little bit more milk or water and thin the soup back out a bit. But I chose a different option. I heated some up (without adding additional milk or water) and poured it over dry toast. Great. You can either pour it over toast or biscuits or cornbread. Yum Yum.

I originally served it with home made corn bread and it was a very filling meal. This is a great soup to make from the left over ham or turkey from your holiday dinners. You could easily have made this with turkey as well and I'm certain it would taste just as good. In reality, it doesn't cost that much to make. Honestly, I would say about $1.00 to $2 for the soup. The recipe makes enough for a family of 4. Great dinner when it's really cold outside.

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